xjjeep90 Posted March 3, 2004 Report Share Posted March 3, 2004 BY GEOFF HOBSON................They also have may have some interest on offense, where backup quarterback Jon Kitna said Tuesday he would like to start elsewhere in the league if a team came to the Bengals looking for trade. He said he isn’t lobbying for a trade or release and said his first option is reaching a contract extension with the Bengals. But he made it clear that he would rather play elsewhere than sit in Cincinnati by saying in a San Diego newspaper and on a San Diego radio station Tuesday that the Chargers would be his No. 1 choice. But Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said he won't initiate trade talks for Kitna. That will have to come from Cincinnati, but all indications are the Bengals want to keep Kitna for now. “I’m not going to demand a trade or anything else and go around saying, ‘Please release me’,” Kitna said. “All I’m saying is I still think I can start for a team in this league for five, six years. I’m only 31 and my play is improving. I think I’ve got a lot of good years left. If a team was interested in me, I hope (the Bengals) would accommodate me, but if not, I’m prepared to help Carson (Palmer) and I’ll be the highest paid assistant coach in the NFL.” ...........Also figuring into the Kitna situation is the free-agent status of veteran quarterback Shane Matthews, Kitna’s No. 2 at the end of last season. Matthews’ agent, Steve Mandell, said Tuesday he thinks both sides would like to come to terms with each other and it’s a matter of sitting down to hammer out the particulars. “But things in the league are changing every day, not only with the Bengals, but all teams,” Mandell said. “Kitna could be released, traded, stay, and it all has an effect. Shane certainly has a good relationship with everybody there.” The return of Matthews, 33, who has a record of 11-11 as a starter, could open the door for the Bengals to jettison Kitna’s $3.3 million salary in 2004, but so far the team looks committed to pay him in full for mentoring Palmer. And the coaching staff has high regard for his past deeds. Kitna told the San Diego Union-Tribune in Tuesday’s editions that he would love to continue starting in the NFL and his first choice would be doing it in San Diego, where the Chargers look to be ready to hunt for a veteran quarterback not Doug Flutie or Drew Brees. Kitna cited the Chargers’ "best backfield in football" with running back LaDainian Tomlinson and former Bengals fullback Lorenzo Neal, and it’s the home of Chargers safety Miles McPherson’s ministry. But while Kitna said he deserves to keep starting, he also said Tuesday that he’s content to stay in Cincinnati, “if that’s where God wants me. I’m not looking to make noise about getting out.” Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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